Northeastern states devastated by Hurricane Sandy are waiting to see how fiscal negotiations could affect their request for roughly $80 billion to rebuild roads, bridges, schools, seaports and subway stops that were decimated by the storm..
To put that in perspective, that new spending is equal to about 73 percent of the automatic sequestered budget cuts. The White House is expected to issue a supplemental request for Sandy-related aid earlier this week and incorporate it into a final deal on the fiscal cliff.- Read more at The Washington Post
GOP GOT DETAILS OF OBAMA PROPOSAL WRONG Shocking, but GOP congressional aides flubbed their description of Obama’s opening offer on the fiscal talks, according to Politico's Ben White. To set the record straight, here is what the White House presented on getting $4 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade: $1 trillion in previously enacted discretionary savings from the Budget Control Act; $250 billion in new non-mandatory spending cuts and $350 billion in health care-related savings. That adds up to $600 billion in new spending cuts, which replaces the sequester, instead of the $400 billion reported last week. The proposal gets to $4 trillion by also including $800 billion in war savings and the $1.6 trillion in new revenues. - Read more at Politico
TAX BATTLE WAGED OVER THE AIRWAVES With less than a month to go in fiscal negotiations, the White House and Republican leaders hit the Sunday chat shows, saying that neither side is ready to surrender on tax rates. For any readers from another planet, the Dems want to increase tax rates on wealthier Americans, while the GOP opposes rate increases.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told NBC's "Meet the Press" that although Republican lawmakers did not warmly receive the president's proposal, he expects them to cave before the year's end when automatic spending cuts and tax increases on all income earners are slated to take effect.
Meanwhile, Boehner blasted the White House on "Fox News Sunday" for proposing a plan didn't include nearly enough spending cuts. “The president and the White House have had three weeks and this is the best we’ve got?” the Ohio Republican said. “We are nowhere.” – Read more at The Fiscal Times
BRUCE BARTLETT: DEBT LIMIT IS THE REAL CLIFF Bruce Bartlett, former domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and columnist for The Fiscal Times, writes in The New York Times Monday, "Much of what passes for fiscal-cliff concern is actually anxiety about whether Republicans in Congress will force a default on the nation’s debt in pursuit of their radical agenda." The government is expected to breach the nation’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit around February and need congressional approval to lift it further.
President Obama proposed raising the U.S. borrowing ceiling as part of the White House's opening salvo in fiscal cliff talks, but that was immediately laughed off by Republican congressional leaders on Friday. - Read more at The New York Times